Pastor’s Blog-Oct 2019

Oct 7, 2019 by

If God loves each one of us very much, and if God longs to help us overcome the passions that blind us and the hurdles that cause us to stumble in our relationships with God and others, then we can best work with God’s grace by showing up regularly for prayer. First and foremost, prayer is for being attentively with God; for delighting in God. Prayer is God’s gift to us, not something we have to “accomplish.” Before we ever utter our first word of prayer, God has put a longing for God in our hearts and drawn us Godward. God is Love; Truth; Beauty; Compassion; Wisdom; Guidance; Healing; and countless other good things. Communing with God is the deepest longing of our hearts and our deepest need, whether or not we are aware of it. Secondly, we pray to open ourselves more fully to the transforming growth, healing, and blessings God longs to give us. This aspect of prayer is greatly aided by our practice of introspection. The early Christian Abbas and Ammas of the Egyptian desert taught that being able to look inside ourselves and recognize what is going on is a crucial part of breaking free of the passions we have spoken of in earlier articles. Abba Poeman said, “’Not understanding what has happened prevents us from going on to something better.’”1 They taught that we should watch ourselves as we interact with others to figure out what our passions are, what sets them off, then to take them to God in prayer. Working with someone called to the ministry of spiritual direction can also be very helpful in this process, as can journaling about what we notice in ourselves. God will bless our efforts in countless, amazing ways that heal, guide, and refine us, as we grow in our ability to love God and others. Blessings to you in this autumn season,

Betsy Caudill

1 Roberta C. Bondi, To Love as God Loves: Conversations with the Early Church (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), p. 79

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